A fuzzy coating of fresh snow glittered like diamonds in my headlights as I pulled out of my driveway this morning. At that predawn hour the whole city seemed to be frozen in darkness. Downtown the steam from the smokestacks rose in the still air, spreading out around the heads of the buildings downtown like a wreath.
We have crested another year like a mountain, and looking out we can see the next one spreading out in the valley below. It is January 3rd, the 10th day of Christmas, but Christmas seems so much further behind us than that. Ahead of us stands the long white expanse of winter, and the rainy mud time of spring, before our next holiday from obligation. These are the days that test our patience. These are the months that breed despair.
Sitting here on my front porch this morning sipping my coffee, I realize that there is little wonder why Christian symbolism revolves around the theme of light at Christmas. In these long nights it is light that we crave above all else. Is it any wonder that our savior should be called the light of the world?
Or that wanderers should seek a star to follow?
Darkness is an intoxicating mystery. It conjures up dreams, and stimulates the imagination. When darkness comes our bodies produce melatonin, and we crave sleep and the vivid escape from reality that it brings.
But if we dwell too long in the land of the night we become lost. The same drug that intoxicates can poison.
Then only light can bring us back, and drive the dark of doubt away.
This is how we were wired. This is how we were created. Our two halves inseparably revolve around one center, alternating through darkness and light. Each one defining the other. Each one chasing the other from the sky.
“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.” – Romeo & Juliet: Act 2; Scene 2; 2-6
Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon. Your time has come.